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Tips To Ensure the Home Is Decorated Safely This Halloween

Stay Safe This Halloween With These 3 Easy Tips!

One of the best parts of Halloween is decking out the house with spooky decorations, from cobwebs and tombstones to inflatable ghouls and towering monsters with twinkling, glowing eyes. Plenty of folks even turn their yards into glowing tableaus of terror on par with the most extravagant Christmas decorations.

But no matter how big or small homeowners want this year, the most important thing is to decorate safely. For those using electric decorations, whether string lights or animatronic creatures, that means being aware of electrical hazards and how to avoid them. So this article will lay out three tips to ensure that this year’s Halloween decorations are as safe as they are spooky!

Inspect Electric Decorations for Damage

The first tip for decorating safely is to carefully check string lights and any other decorations that use electricity (fan-operated Halloween inflatables, for instance) before putting them up. Frayed or exposed wires, damaged cords, broken or missing bulbs, and loose connections can all cause an electric shock or fire. 

But faulty wiring isn’t the only hazard to watch out for - it’s also a good idea to retire old lights with incandescent bulbs and replace them with LED lights. LED bulbs, on top of being more energy efficient, operate at a very low temperature. In contrast, incandescent bulbs can get very hot - a recipe for trouble around dry, fallen leaves and synthetic decoration materials that may be flammable.

Be Smart About Where Decorations Are Plugged In

inflatablesThe next item on the electrical safety checklist is to be strategic about plugging in all decorations. Cramming too many decorations into too few outlets can overload the circuit, which can cause the wiring in the home and the decorations themselves to overheat, potentially starting a fire. To avoid overloading outlets, homeowners should spread the decorations across multiple outlets and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how many string lights to plug into one another.

Homeowners should also avoid running cords through doorways or in areas where they can be crushed, pinched, or tripped over, as this can degrade the insulation and lead to faulty wiring. It’s also vital that all outdoor lights and Halloween yard decorations are plugged into GFCI-protected outlets - these can prevent electrocution by instantaneously cutting power to the circuit when a ground fault (electric current leaving the circuit) is detected.

Utilize Surge Protectors

outletsThe third way to ensure safe Halloween decorations is to plug them into surge protectors. These are like power strips but with the added feature of protecting electronics from power surges. A power surge - a sudden spike in voltage within a circuit - can be caused by anything from a nearby lightning strike or downed power line to a refrigerator compressor kicking on.

Put simply, a surge protector works by diverting this excess voltage into the home’s grounding pathway, protecting any electronics plugged into the affected circuit. Without surge protection, the spike in voltage could damage the decorations or cause them to overheat. In this way, surge protectors help prevent electrical fires. Combined with the tips and strategies mentioned above, the addition of surge protectors can keep the home safe and the festive Halloween spirit alive!

About Edison Electric, Inc.

Since its founding in 2007, Edison Electric, Inc. has been one of Minneapolis's most highly-rated and trusted electricians. As a BBB A+ rated local business, they have won numerous awards for their service excellence, including the Angie’s List Super Service Award and Nextdoor’s Neighborhood Favorite Award. Their licensed and insured technicians are background-checked and drug-tested, so homeowners know they’re in good hands when they call Edison for electrical services in Minneapolis, MN!